FICTION

It’s Raining Tacos!

HarperCollins/Harper. Jun. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063006478.
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PreS-Gr 1–A birthday party with cake, pizza, and a bouncy house, what’s not to love? Young readers will delight in the familiarity and joy of a child’s birthday celebration with all of their favorite activities and foods. And what’s a birthday celebration without some hijinks? Imagine getting a dog as a present and then your dog destroying your special birthday table and eating your pizza. Thanks to the lyrics of the titular song, the universe changes course with a most unusual gift: tacos raining from the sky. And who doesn’t love tacos? Many readers will find the rhyming text, robust color palette, and imagery of tacos pouring from the sky a real treat. Yet, the story and imagery rely heavily on familiarity with the song, over-the-top celebrations, or tolerance for repetition. It requires readers and listeners alike to lean into the unbelievable, and to make two events—party ruined, party fixed—into a story. There is carefully crafted racial diversity throughout.
VERDICT There are stronger books that celebrate the the simplicity and enjoyment of parties; there are songs with more of a story arc for picture-book adaptation.

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